When considering a new AV program, there are two things you should consider. They are, the level of security on offer, and how much impact it will have on your system. In this article, I’ve chosen to review Avast Antivirus, as it is one of the most popular. So, sit back and be prepared to learn about it, and decide whether it’s worthy.
Avast Antivirus – Free or Premium?
To start with there is the free version, it can run on the now outdated Windows XP, all the way up to Windows 10. With it, you get a local-network scanner, password manager, and a browser. In all honesty, this alone should be more than enough for everyday needs. However, there are also two premium options to choose from.
Avast Internet Security Advanced
This the first of the two paid for versions, cost £49-per year, and incorporates extra features not found in the standard edition. These features include a firewall, improved phishing protection, a ransomware shield, plus safety from malicious websites.
Avast Premier Complete
Starting at £59.99-per year this option is everything Avast has to offer for the personal user in one package. It comes with all of the features found in the previous, and more. They include a file shredder and auto third-party software updating.
If you decide to try out the free version of Avast Antivirus, here’s some information worth knowing. If your system once ran paid for software like Norton or McAfee, Avast can replace them thanks to it having so-called, on-access or resident protection. That means the software will continuously protect your computer from threats.
Protection in Detail
The free and paid for version start with a signature-based scanning system, which queries a database of known threats. If a previously unknown-software is found, a Behaviours Shield monitors it. During which, if its activity becomes suspicious, it’s uploaded to Avast’s servers for detailed analysis.
In protecting a computer, Avast collects details from hundreds-of-millions of systems worldwide. In doing so, it continues to be one of the better AV’s available.
Monitoring activity when visiting a website to determine if it is safe. Is, unfortunately, a modern feature of most AV’s. As such, Avast Antivirus has it and can protect you while using Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome.
A further level of security is also on offer; it sees email attachments scanned before you open them. This may be old-hat, but it once it’s a sure fire way of spreading malware, and other nasties.
Scanning for Malware
Manual scanning comes in two forms, a SmartScan which looks for vulnerabilities and malware in specific locations. Plus, weak passwords, network issues and more. And then there is a full scan which will sift through the complete hard drive on your computer.
If you choose to do so, you can also scan any external drive, or files. However, unlike with incoming email, and their attachments Avast will not automatically do this, so bear that in mind.
At the time of writing this, one of the latest features was a Game Mode. It offers an additional level of customisation, which includes the pausing of scans and notifications. This is done by altering the rootkit to run at start-up, although it can also be used to scan for apps.
How does Avast Antivirus compare to other free AV’s?
There is no doubt that Avast offers one of the better all-around software solutions. Not only does it do well at finding and removing malware, but it also does well when compared to rivals. Back in June Avast’s free option detected 100-percent of previously unknown zero-day malware. That result is identical to the results given by Bitdefender and AVG, even though in general AVG is a little more efficient.
Yes, from time-to-time all AV software will detect false positives, which is when a download is thought of as harmful. When in fact it is not, although it is better to be able to do so than not. Especially, as some hackers now use such alerts to slip things past the AV. As such, AVAST and others are continuously looking to improve detection.
Will Avast Antivirus affect the performance of your computer? Now, to be honest, that does depend on quite a lot of different variables. Such as, how much RAM your computer has, its CPU, and more. However, what I can say is, Avast, at least the free version, does not use lots of resources. And that’s even when it is busy scanning for malware, and protecting you in the background.
Yes, you may see that some programs take a second or two longer to open. But overall, it’s not a grinding to a halt-type of a problem; you will be able to cope with it.
As an AV, all three options pretty much cover you when it comes to protection. Once set up they will run in the background not interfering with you. However, in my opinion, the good words disappear when you venture into the settings.
A perfect one-word description would be, inefficient and that is because of how they are laid out. As much as anyone, I like to play with settings; it helps me to learn. But, the interface overall, has not been well designed. In fact, it’s so awkward, that it feels like playing with Avast’s settings, is for advanced users only.
Would I recommend Avast Antivirus? Yes, I would, that is the free version to start with, check it out. Although, I do feel that there are AV’s out there that have better interfaces, and don’t push you to upgrade as much.
Overall, however, I would say that it is indeed worth the time in downloading and trialling. You’ve got nothing to lose in doing so, get your copy here.